Better Process Control School In-Person

Offered by UC Davis

BPCS at UC Davis

Our next Better Process Control School  will be held February 14-17, 2023.

BPCS 2023 is now full. Please email zgates@ucdavis.edu if you would like to add your name to a waitlist. She will contact you in case there are any cancellations.   

Registration is $900.00 per person.  To be considered as fully registered for BPCS 2023, you must add a credit card payment when registering or soon afterwards.  We cannot hold unpaid registration spots. 

In-Person Event - CoVID procedures

We currently follow the campus guidance below.  

BPCS Agenda - 2023

Other options for BPCS at other institutions or online at other institutions

What is the BPCS?

The Better Process Control School (BPCS) provides training to help assure safety and quality of shelf-stable heat-processed low-acid and acidified foods such as salsas, pickled products, soups, broths, and pet food. UC Davis offers a 4-day course for operators, supervisors, auditors, academics, and government personnel who work with shelf-stable heat-processed low-acid and acidified low-acid foods regulated by FDA or USDA.

The UC Davis Better Process Control School is offered in conjunction with the Consumer Brands Association, the largest trade association serving the food and beverage processing industry worldwide. We also partner with the University of California Laboratory for Research in Food Preservation, who provides an experienced lecturer.

Link to many BPCS Nationwide & International Courses - (Consumer Brands Association) (PDF 575 KB)

Why attend the BPCS?

The Better Process Control School (BPCS) was established in the 1970s by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) primarily for operating supervisors of commercial food canning operations. It is approved by the FDA, the USDA and the California Department of Public Health, Food and Drug Branch. Production of these canned foods is covered by FDA regulations 21 CFR 108, 113 and 21 CFR 114. It also meets similar regulations and training requirements set forth in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulations 9 CFR 318.300 and 381.300 for thermally processed meat and poultry products.

Who Should Attend?

The BPCS is intended for individuals who are in the plant at the time a canned food product is packed and processed. The school is particularly intended for operating supervisors involved in production of thermally processed low-acid and acidified low-acid foods. It's appropriate for operators, supervisors, auditors, academics, and government personnel who work with shelf-stable heat-processed low-acid and acidified low-acid foods regulated by FDA or USDA.  

To determine if your product is an acidified low-acid food, consult the following document:

Instructional materials (books, lectures, examinations) will be given in the English language. Attendees must be proficient in English to attend the school; there is limited ability for instructors to provide additional tutoring should attendees have difficulty comprehending the material.  

Course Instructors

Erin L. DiCaprio, Associate Professor of Cooperative Extension in Community Food Safety, University of California, Davis (School Coordinator and Instructor)

Linda J. Harris, Professor of Cooperative Extension in Microbial Food Safety, University of California, Davis 

Kurt Wiese, Senior Process Engineer and Process Authority

Mark Deniston, Research Associate, UC Laboratory for Research in Food Preservation

Agency Representatives - from USDA, FDA, California Dept. of Public Health (Food and Drug Branch) and the California League of Food Processors.

Course Agenda 2023

Day One:

  • Introduction (Ch. 1)
  • Microbiology of Processed Foods (Ch. 2)
  • Closures for Double-Seamed Metal and Plastic Containers (Ch. 5)
  • Sanitation for Retorts and Atmospheric Cookers (Ch. 3)

Day Two:

  • Cleaning of Continuous Systems (Ch. 4)
  • Closures for Glass and Twist-off Plastic Containers (Ch. 6)
  • Introduction to Thermal Processing (Ch. 8)
  • Mild Thermal Processes (Ch. 15)

Day Three:

  • Retort Equipment and Operation (Ch. 9)
  • Batch Saturated Steam Retorts: Still and Agitating (Ch. 10)
  • Continous Rotary Retorts (Ch. 11)
  • Still and Agitating Retorts That Process with Overpressure (Ch. 12)

Day Four:

  • Hydrostatic Retorts (Ch. 13)
  • Aseptic Processing and Packaging Systems (Ch. 14)
  • Flexible and Semirigid Containers (Ch. 7)
  • Note: Class is scheduled to end about 2:45 pm. on Friday
  • Optional: Tour / Demonstration of UC Food Science & Technology Pilot Plant Facilities (a short walk from the class venue)

Enrollment Fee

The enrollment fee of $900.00 includes all instruction, course materials including the Canned Foods Manual (book), continental breakfasts, four lunches, parking permit, and morning and afternoon coffee breaks. Course materials and parking permits will be handed out on the first day, at the registration table.  We will email you the course agenda/welcome letter ahead of time.  After the course, certificates of completion will be emailed to each participant (and their instructor, if applicable).  Please allow four weeks after the course for certificates to be processed. 

Refund Policy

In the event that this course is canceled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, we will fully refund registration fees. 

If you need to cancel after enrolling, for any reason, requests made via email for a full refund, less a $25 processing fee, may be made up until January 31st, 2023.  The credit/refund must be made to the card you used to pay with originally. After that date, no refunds will be given.  If you wish to substitute a person for your spot, please email zgates@ucdavis.edu to arrange.  

No refunds will given for any reason after January 31st, 2023; however, if you are sick, we ask that you not attend.  

Certificates of Completion

Certificates (PDF via email) will be issued to all attendees approximately 4-6 weeks after the course is held. These certificates will list the names of the chapters passed, without the actual score listed, and will be emailed to both to the participant and their current supervisor, if applicable.  

Accommodations and Parking

For local hotel information please see the Yolo County Visitor's Guide website. You might find our visitor page helpful as well: "Visiting Davis, California" and "Welcome to Davis" from the UC Davis Postharvest Center.  Campus parking permits will be available to those attending the class.

When registering, please check the box on the online registration form to indicate that you will need a visitor parking permit.  Please park in Visitor Parking Lots 1 or 2, or the top level of the Gateway Structure (parking ramp).

Parking placards will be handed out at the check-in table on February 14th.  You will have to return to your car and put the placard on the dashboard. 

Directions to UC Conference Center  - Printable Directions

For questions regarding the technical content of the class, contact Erin DiCaprio; for registration information, contact Zann Gates.